Panasonic FZ80 vs Sony NEX-5T
The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 (called Panasonic FZ82 in some regions) and the Sony Alpha NEX-5T are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in January 2017 and August 2013. The FZ80 is a fixed lens compact, while the NEX-5T is a mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. The cameras are based on a 1/2.3-inch (FZ80) and an APS-C (NEX-5T) sensor. The Panasonic has a resolution of 18 megapixels, whereas the Sony provides 16 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 and the Sony Alpha NEX-5T? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Panasonic FZ80 and the Sony NEX-5T is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All size dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The NEX-5T can be obtained in two different colors (black, silver), while the FZ80 is only available in black.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Sony NEX-5T is considerably smaller (46 percent) than the Panasonic FZ80. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the FZ80 nor the NEX-5T are weather-sealed.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete and possibly misleading, as the FZ80 has a lens built in, whereas the NEX-5T is an interchangeable lens camera that requires a separate lens. Attaching the latter will add extra weight and bulk to the setup. You can compare the optics available for the NEX-5T and their specifications in the Sony E-Mount Lens Catalog.
The power pack in the FZ80 can be charged via the USB port, so that it is not always necessary to take the battery charger along when travelling.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, you can move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|1.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|2.||Sony NEX-5T||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2013||699|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||127 mm||91 mm||117 mm||608 g||325||n||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Panasonic ZS80||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||117 mm||76 mm||37 mm||319 g||300||Y||May 2018||449|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Sony HX99||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||449|
|10.||Sony HX95||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||242 g||370||n||Aug 2018||429|
|11.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|12.||Sony HX350||130 mm||93 mm||103 mm||652 g||300||n||Dec 2016||449|
|13.||Sony NEX-3N||110 mm||62 mm||35 mm||269 g||480||n||Feb 2013||499|
|14.||Sony NEX-5R||111 mm||59 mm||39 mm||276 g||330||n||Aug 2012||749|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||117 mm||67 mm||42 mm||314 g||470||n||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||117 mm||62 mm||33 mm||297 g||330||n||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||111 mm||59 mm||38 mm||287 g||330||n||May 2010||699|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
The price is, of course, an important factor in any camera decision. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The FZ80 was launched at a lower price than the NEX-5T, despite having a lens built in. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Of the two cameras under consideration, the Panasonic FZ80 features a 1/2.3-inch sensor and the Sony NEX-5T an APS-C sensor. The sensor area in the NEX-5T is 1204 percent bigger. As a result of these sensor size differences, the cameras have a format factor of, respectively, 5.6 and 1.5. The sensor in the FZ80 has a native 4:3 aspect ratio, while the one in the NEX-5T offers a 3:2 aspect.
Despite having a smaller sensor, the Panasonic FZ80 offers a higher resolution of 18 megapixels, compared with 16 MP of the Sony NEX-5T. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.25μm versus 4.78μm for the NEX-5T). However, it should be noted that the FZ80 is much more recent (by 3 years and 4 months) than the NEX-5T, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that the FZ80 has no anti-alias filter installed, so that it can capture all the detail its sensor resolves.
The Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 has a native sensitivity range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200, which can be extended to ISO 80-6400. The corresponding ISO settings for the Sony Alpha NEX-5T are ISO 100 to ISO 25600 (no boost).
For many cameras, data on sensor performance has been reported by DXO Mark. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration are equipped with sensors that have a sufficiently high read-out speed for moving images, but the FZ80 provides a higher video resolution than the NEX-5T. It can shoot video footage at 4K/30p, while the Sony is limited to 1080/60p.
Beyond body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the FZ80 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the NEX-5T relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. That said, the NEX-5T can be equipped with an optional viewfinder – the FDA-EV1S. The adjacent table lists some of the other core features of the Panasonic FZ80 and Sony NEX-5T along with similar information for a selection of comparators.
One difference between the cameras concerns the presence of an on-board flash. The FZ80 has one, while the NEX-5T does not. While the built-in flash of the FZ80 is not very powerful, it can at times be useful as a fill-in light.The NEX-5T has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the FZ80 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the FZ80 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
The FZ80 writes its imaging data to SDXC cards, while the NEX-5T uses SDXC or Memory Stick PRO Duo cards. The FZ80 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the NEX-5T cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80 and Sony Alpha NEX-5T and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
The FZ80 is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Panasonic. In contrast, the NEX-5T has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the NEX-5T was succeeded by the Sony A5100. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Panasonic and Sony websites.
So how do things add up? Is there a clear favorite between the Panasonic FZ80 and the Sony NEX-5T? Which camera is better? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Advantages of the Panasonic Lumix DC-FZ80:
- Maximized detail: Lacks an anti-alias filter to exploit the sensor's full resolution potential.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Ready to shoot: Has a lens built-in, whereas the NEX-5T requires a separate lens.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Sharper images: Has hand-shake reducing image stabilization built-in.
- Easier fill-in: Is equipped with a small onboard flash to brighten deep shadow areas.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More affordable: Was introduced at a lower price, despite coming with a built-in lens.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 4 months of technical progress since the NEX-5T launch.
Arguments in favor of the Sony Alpha NEX-5T:
- Better moiré control: Has an anti-alias filter to avoid artificial patterns to appear in images.
- Better image quality: Features bigger pixels on a larger sensor for higher quality imaging.
- Richer colors: The pixel size advantage translates into images with better, more accurate colors.
- More dynamic range: Larger pixels capture a wider spectrum of light and dark details.
- Better low-light sensitivity: Larger pixels means good image quality even under poor lighting.
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/4000s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- More flexible: Takes interchangeable lenses and can thus be used with specialty optics.
- More compact: Is smaller (111x59mm vs 130x94mm) and will fit more readily into a bag.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More heavily discounted: Has been around for much longer (launched in August 2013).
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the match-up finishes in a tie (12 points each). However, the relevance of individual strengths will vary across photographers, so that you might want to apply your own weighing scheme to the summary points when reflecting and deciding on a new camera. A professional wildlife photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a family photog, and a person interested in architecture has distinct needs from a sports shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Panasonic FZ80 and the Sony NEX-5T place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera and Best Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Camera listings whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the FZ80 and the NEX-5T in practical situations. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The following table reports the overall ratings of the cameras as published by some of the major camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|2.||Sony NEX-5T||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2013||699|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX70||..||+ +||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Sep 2018||549|
|5.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|6.||Panasonic ZS80||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|7.||Panasonic TS7||..||+||..||..||3.5/5||May 2018||449|
|8.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|9.||Sony HX99||..||..||..||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2018||449|
|10.||Sony HX95||..||..||..||..||..||Aug 2018||429|
|11.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|12.||Sony HX350||..||..||..||..||4/5||Dec 2016||449|
|13.||Sony NEX-3N||3/5||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||499|
|14.||Sony NEX-5R||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2012||749|
|15.||Sony NEX-F3||4/5||..||74/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||May 2012||599|
|16.||Sony NEX-3||..||..||70/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||599|
|17.||Sony NEX-5||3/5||+ +||71/100||4.5/5||4/5||May 2010||699|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The review scores listed above should be treated with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. Alternatively, you can follow any of the listed hyperlinks for comparisons that others found interesting.
Specifications: Panasonic FZ80 vs Sony NEX-5T
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Mirrorless system camera|
|Camera Lens||20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9||Sony E mount lenses|
|Launch Date||January 2017||August 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 399||USD 699|
|Sensor Specs||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||23.4 x 15.6 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||365.04 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||28.1 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||18 Megapixels||16 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4896 x 3672 pixels||4912 x 3264 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.25 μm||4.78 μm|
|Pixel Density||64.04 MP/cm2||4.39 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||4K/30p Video||1080/60p Video|
|ISO Setting||80 - 3,200 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||80 - 6,400 ISO||no Enhancement|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||78|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||23.6|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||13.0|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||1015|
|Screen Specs||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|Viewfinder Type||Electronic viewfinder||Viewfinder optional|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||922k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Shooting Specs||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||Focus Peaking||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/2000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||10 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||up to 1/16000s||no E-Shutter|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||no On-Board Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||MS or SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||no|
|Connectivity Specs||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||no NFC||NFC built-in|
|Body Specs||Panasonic FZ80||Sony NEX-5T|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||330 shots per charge||330 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||USB charging||no USB charging|
130 x 94 x 119 mm
(5.1 x 3.7 x 4.7 in)
111 x 59 x 39 mm
(4.4 x 2.3 x 1.5 in)
|Camera Weight||616 g (21.7 oz)||276 g (9.7 oz)|
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